It’s time for New Year resolutions. I’ve been procrastinating setting up this monthly journal and almost missed January, so this is my # 1 resolution for 2020. Don’t wait for tomorrow, do things today! Starting with sharing some of my thoughts as a writer and a photographer. So here it goes…

One of the things I’m trying to do is to read more because in order to be a good writer, you need to be a good reader. That means reading all kinds of genres, especially when you are just starting out. Experimenting with subject matter, trying to find your writer’s voice. I’m now doing the final editing of a YA historical fantasy novel–The Dream Traveler’s Memoir–that I’ve been working on for a number of years. Many of the novels I’ve read have young protagonists. Just like my novel, these books have a coming-of-age theme to it.

One book that I’m half way through is the 2019 adult best-seller, Where the Crawdads Sing. The author, Delia Owens, is a well-respected non-fiction nature magazine writer. She is an excellent observer. You need to be for the type of writing that she does. Her novel takes place in an intriguing, beautiful, mysterious, and unsettling landscape–North Carolina along the shore and its marsh lands. Story alternates between the late l950s and late 60s. It’s about a girl named Kya, known to the locals as ‘Marsh Girl’ and sometimes thought of as white trash. She struggles to survive, coping with hardships, learning to be self-reliant after being deserted by her family. The only thing she can really count on are the animals that live around her and the predictable patterns & rhythms of nature. Coming-of-age, looking for love, innocence lost, and a murder mystery all play a part in this book. As a photographer and artist, I appreciate how the author captures the scenes: written with such provocative, atmospheric, and descriptive prose. I feel like I’m immersed in a photo or a painting as I observe this lonely, but strong-willed child, watching her grow up. Her story, so far, is as beautiful and haunting as the land she lives in, which is also a character in this novel. I look forward to to finishing the book.

Reading books such as this one gives me ideas of how I can write scenes, characters, and structure plots in the short stories and novels that I write.